OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF CONCERN REGARDING THE RE-OPENING OF OUR CHURCHES
May 13, 2020
On behalf of the leaders who serve with me in the Virginia Baptist State Convention, we offer this guidance.
The COVID19 Coronavirus pandemic has created not only schedule adjustments, but our entire world has shifted. Because of this, our traditional worship attendance and practices will change drastically to include removing the main elements which have been a draw to many of our houses of worship and that is socialization and koinonia.
We have all longed for the day when the Governor of our Commonwealth makes the declaration to lift the ban of large gatherings to include churches. It is our belief that while the ban has been lifted, the timing is terrible. The curve has not flattened but has expanded. More people are dying while testing is not commensurate.
I know many budgets have been strained and threatened because of job loss and economic decline, however this is unchartered territory for all of us.
At best, we’re admonishing you NOT TO OPEN YOUR HOUSES OF WORSHIP YET. I ask that you wait until Chronos intersects with Chairos, because it’s as simple as this, “that which is lawful is not necessarily expedient”.
While you are prayerfully waiting, spend this time as pastors and church leaders engaging in a thoughtful, strategic re-entry plan and create safe practices for post COVID19 worship.
Please know we are praying daily for your safety while believing God for wisdom and to meet each of you at your very point of need.
Your Servant In Christ,
Charles R. Whitfield, President
Virginia Baptist State Convention